HAVERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The Lower Merion Township community gathered Sunday to honor fallen firefighter Thomas Royds in a procession that felt all too familiar. It was a long day for firefighters, officers, and residents as they watched a procession guide Royds’ body from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
The 30-year Belmont Hills Fire Company veteran and father of three died Saturday after he, two other firefighters, and a Pennsylvania State Trooper were hit while responding to a crash on Schuylkill Expressway.READ MORE: 'This Is What We Do In A Small Town': Mullica Hill Residents Continue Recovery Efforts Weeks After Tornado
The driver, Jacquelyn Walker, is charged with driving while under the influence, according to authorities. Walker is charged with vehicular homicide.
“You would think, ‘Oh you know, you leave your family in the morning,’ thinking your coming home, and you don’t come home,” one resident tells Eyewitness News. “It’s very sad.”READ MORE: New Jersey Man Credits Keeping Mind Active As He Celebrates 105th Birthday
This is the second firefighter laid to rest in the past month; Sean DeMuynck died after battling a Fourth of July house fire during his final scheduled shift. The Penn Wynne volunteer firefighter was supposed to move home to Canada with his wife the next day.
The loss hits hard for the community, one full of those who have a soft spot for first responders.
“These guys they go and they protect and serve, they save lives, and we get to see it often because the morgue is here,” resident Asa Watts says. “We support our firefighters, and it effects the community in every way we depend on these guys.”MORE NEWS: President Biden Approves Disaster Funding For Two More Pennsylvania Counties
CBS3’s Jasmine Payoute contributed to this report.